This lovely summer salad is as rustic as it is elegant. And it’s a great way to use up your end of the summer veggies, too!
French lentils are simmered with bay leaves until they are soft and tender. They are chilled and combined with sweet corn, fresh zucchini & summer squash, crispy cukes, and tangy shallots. All bathed in a French herb & tarragon vinaigrette!
Aside from your summer veggies, there are a few flavor stars in this salad. I used French lentils, but any variety you prefer would be fine. If you don’t have tarragon vinegar, white or red wine vinegar would be good substitutes. And I love Penzey’s Parisien Bonne Herbs. Herbs de Provence may be more readily available to you. Or just choose a few of your favorite summer herbs! The tangy, mustardy, herby dressing is light & delicious!
I made the lentils a day in advance just to give them time to chill. While you may be tempted to dig in right away, this salad is best if you can let it chill for a few hours. Even better overnight, since all the flavors in the dressing really get some time to soak in.
And honestly, use any summer veggies you’d like. You can grill or saute the corn and squash, or leave them raw. It’s all up to you!
While I hate saying goodbye to summer, I’m glad I got to celebrate it’s beautiful bounty with this cool, refreshing salad.
Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.
- 1 cup of French lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup of fresh corn kernels (see note below)
- 1 cup of diced cucumbers
- ½ cup of diced zucchini (see note below)
- ½ cup of summer squash (see note below)
- ½ cup of finely diced shallot
- 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of tarragon vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon of dried French herbs (Herbs de Provence)
- salt & pepper to taste
- NOTE: You can serve the corn, squash and zuccini raw. I chose to saute them in a non stick pan sprayed with some cooking spray on medium high heat for about 2 minutes
- Place the lentils, 3 cups of water and the bay leaves in a saucepan.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
- Simmer for 25-30 minutes, uncovered, or until the lentils are tender.
- Drain, remove the bay leaves and let cool.
- Place them in a covered container in your refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard and herbs.
- Season the dressing with salt & pepper to taste.
- When ready to assemble the salad, pour the dressing into your serving bowl.
- Add the lentils and vegetables and toss to coat.
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